What is it?
Can we call it the pedalboard amp revolution yet? Maybe once we're all taking to the floor for our primary amp tones we can, but what we can say for sure is that the idea of housing an amp in an enclosure the size of a Big Muff is a revolutionary act.
Those of us who have long coveted a fancy-schmancy valve amp head but turn pale at the price have in recent years had a growing number of options should we want the taste of top-line amp tone in a pedal.
There's Victory Amps, who put the tones of three of its most popular heads into the V4 preamp pedal format that retails for ￡349, just over the third of the price of a head. These, like the Notes Le Preamp series of pedals, used a valve in the preamp for some authenticity to the crunch.
Amp-builders such as Thomas Blug have taken a tech-forward approach to their designs with the BluGuitar AMP1 series using Nanotube tech architecture and offering four amp voicings and 100-watts of power from a pedalboard amp that's the size of a small multi-FX. It's incredible.
And then there are pedalboard amps such as Orange's Terror Stamp, which is off a piece with the Orange MO, with Cliff Cooper's company making the down-sizing of its Terror amp series something of a speciality. The Terror Stamp is small – 130mm [w] X 41mm [h] X 95mm [d] – and pedalboard-friendly and yet it packs in a combination of valve and solid-state tech to house both Micro Terror and Dark Terror amp tones in a pedal.
The Orange Terror Stamp has an ECC83 (12AX7)-driven preamp and a 20W Class A/B solid-state power amp to get the job done. Compared to some of the more expensive and feature-packed alternatives it has a straightforward set of controls.
There's a switchable master volume that can be used like a boost. The two volume controls are joined by a shape control for EQ and a gain control.
The Shape control calls to mind the Dark Terror, and instead of a traditional EQ it takes a broader view of your tone, adjusting everything at once. That might bring some out in a cold sweat but it's effective in practice.
Performance and verdict
The first thing that hits you with the Terror Stamp is the volume its 20-watts can generate. It's loud. Loud, wide, rich, clearly defined upper-mids, the sort of thing you would associate with Orange tone.
• BluGuitar Amp1 Mercury Edition
The revoiced Mercury Edition definitely extends the range of the original Amp1, without travelling too far from the original sounds, which were already superb.
• Strymon Iridium
Awesome cab sims allied to great tones from three amp classics make the Iridium a hugely versatile and compact all-in-one rig for the stage or the studio.
There's a lovely range to its voice. You can run it with sparkly, bright gain or clean it up and have the mid-range take aim at your solar plexus. Or, you can just crank it all up for some unruly, animal gain tones. This gain is hugely musical, as you'd expect, dynamic, rich in harmonics.
While it is not quite nuclear in terms of high-gain, the Terror Stamp takes gain pedals well, and super-heavy metal tones are only a well-chosen dirt box away. Indeed, used as a pedal platform, the Terror Stamp can take on all kinds of styles. There is an effects loop to the rear of the enclosure.
This versatility could see it form the backbone of your next rig, a more portable rig. At this price and size, it makes an ideal backup or a power amp for a modelling rig. It's small, but it packs a punch.
MusicRadar Verdict: The Orange Terror Stamp is small enough to throw in your backpack, priced like to a decent overdrive pedal, and offers Orange tones at the touch of a footswitch. As a backup, recording tool or on-the-fly rig it's exceptional. What's not to like?
- TYPE: Class A/B pedal amp
- OUTPUT: 20 watts
- CONTROLS: Volume 1, Volume 2, Shape, Gain
- SOCKETS: 1/4” guitar input, buffered effects loop, cab sim output, speaker output (8/16 ohms)
- POWER: DC15V power brick
- DIMENSIONS: 130mm [w] X 41mm [h] X 95mm [d]
- WEIGHT: 0.8lbs
- CONTACT: Orange Amps